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3 Armed Men Rob 5 Smoke And Vape Shops In Artesia, Lakewood, Norwalk And Bellflower Monday Night

LAKEWOOD (CBSLA) - Thousands of dollars in merchandise and cash was stolen from five smoke and vape shops in Lakewood, Norwalk, Artesia and Bellflower on Monday night.

Robberies 3
Dec. 20, 2021

At Cora's Market in Norwalk, three armed men, believed to be in their 20's, held up an employee, likely the trio's fourth stop in a five market robbery spree.

Investigators said the employee at Cora's was shot at, grazed in the head by a BB gun. The victim was rushed to the hospital, but was not seriously injured.

In total, five smoke or vape shops in four cities were robbed in one hour. Sheriff's investigators have not yet linked the crimes, but said they believe it's the same criminal trio.

Each victim reported three men in hoodies and masks, and it appears that the suspects made off with cigarettes, lighters, pipes and cash from all the stores they hit.

Robberies 4
Dec. 21, 2021 (CBSLA)

An employee at the shop in Artesia said that one of the crooks pretended to be a customer, but then pulled a gun and demanded money while the other two snatched merchandise from the store's shelves and a chain off a customer's neck.

Several of the shops are now considering upgraded security for their stores, another expense for businesses owners who lost merchandise, money and their sense of safety.

All five stores have since reopened. Two of the stores said their security cameras recorded video of the armed robberies as they occurred.

The video has been handed over to detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Major Crimes Unit, which has taken over the investigation.


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